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Soon-To-Be NYC Cops Undergoing Multicultural Immersion Training

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - The NYPD's newest incoming officers, set to graduate from the academy in a couple of weeks, got a lesson in cultural sensitivity from their boss on Thursday.

It was the start of a four-day session of what the police department calls "multicultural immersion training."

"You'll be policing the most diverse city in the world," Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said.

Soon-To-Be NYC Cops Undergoing Multicultural Immersion Training

WCBS 880's Alex Silverman said that Kelly told the 800 young men and women gathered at the Apollo Theater in Harlem to think about the power they'll have.

"You have the power to arrest, to take away someone's liberty. You have the power and the authority to use force and sometimes deadly force. Now these are awesome powers," Kelly said.

Kelly said those are powers that save lives.

He also said "all it takes is one errant police officer" to undermine the reputation "of a great institution" built by thousands.

He added that history cannot be rewritten.

"Some situations that may have put us at odds with the community," he said. "You'll learn that people are not always happy with what you do, be it perhaps a stop of a suspect."

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly Apollo Theater
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly speaks to NYPD cadets at the Apollo Theater - June 20, 2013 (credit: Alex Silverman / WCBS 880)

Kelly said the next four days of training are about making sure those mistakes are not repeated.

Graudation will take place on July 2 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

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